The effects of cytochalasin D (CD) were studied by scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron-microscopic examination at different stages of ciliary differentiation in epithelial cells of quail oviduct. Immature quails were prestimulated by estradiol benzoate injections to induce ciliogenesis in the undifferentiated oviduct. After 24 h of CD culture, SEM study revealed inhibition of ciliogenesis and dilation of the apex of non-ciliated cells. TEM study showed that 2 h of CD treatment produced dilation of lateral intercellular spaces, after 6 h of treatment, this resulted in intracellular macrovacuolation. Vacuoles were surrounded by aggregates of dense felt-like material. CD also induced the disappearance of microvilli, and rounding of the apical surface of undifferentiated cells and those blocked in ciliogenesis. Centriologenesis was not inhibited by CD; basal bodies assembled in generative complexes in the supranuclear region after 24 h of treatment. However, the migration of mature basal bodies towards the apical surface was impaired. Instead, they anchored onto the membrane of intracellular vacuoles; growth of cilia was induced in the vacuole lumen. Cilium elongation was disturbed, giving abnormally short cilia with a dilated tip; microtubules failed to organize correctly.